Hunger in the news

A daily selection of news reports from the world's media dealing with hunger and responses to it.
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Purchase for Progress
12 January 2009

UN WFP pays farmers $53m for food

THE World Food Programme (WFP) has began buying food directly from small-holding farmers in Uganda to boost opportunities for poverty eradication. The UN food agency said in a statement yesterday that it bought $53m worth of food locally last year for recipients in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern DR Congo. The statement said the agency plans to increase the purchases to more than $100m annually in three years. The country director, Stanlake Samkange, said WFP recently started buying food through the warehouse receipt system to increase direct assistance to small-scale farmers and support the Government poverty eradication efforts. “Buying food directly from small-scale farmers, especially at high prices, helps further by improving the quality of life for the poorest people,” Samkange said in the statement.
New Vision
Responding to Emergencies
12 January 2009

WFP, Trade Ministry Partner to 'Get Food to Gaza'

As Israel and Hamas remained locked in a 16-day old Gaza war on Sunday – ignoring international calls for a ceasefire – the World Food Program (WFP) launched Operation Lifeline Gaza, a three month initiative to respond to growing hunger needs in the war-torn city. This is a global appear; and as Gandhi once said: To a hungry man, a piece of bread is a face of God. And right now, there's no more vulnerable moment to men, women, families, and individuals in Gaza than no having food," Josette Sheeran, executive director of the WFP, told a press conference in Cairo on Saturday. She announced that the WFP would begin Sunday Operation Lifeline Gaza, a global appeal to ramp up the distribution of food to people caught in the conflict in the occupied Palestinian territory. The three-month operation aims to secure some 6,402 tons of foodstuffs to citizens of Gaza at an estimated budget of $20 million.
Daily News Egypt
Responding to Emergencies
11 January 2009

WFP appeals for rapid expansion of humanitarian access to gaza

"The situation in Gaza is dire with at least 80 per cent of the people needing urgent food assistance," Sheeran said at Rafah, on the Egyptian border with Gaza, where she had travelled to hear at first hand the humanitarian challenges on the ground.
U-landsnyt.dk
Food Security Analysis
11 January 2009

Yemen Under Threat From World Food Crisis

The ancient civilization that thrived in the mountain valleys of Yemen was famed for cultivating bountiful crops with a system of cisterns and aqueducts, but today the country is threatened with a major food crisis that experts fear could destabilize the poor neighbor of the Middle East's oil and banking giants. In remote villages, families are regularly skipping meals and spending over two-thirds of their income on food due to high international prices, forcing some to pull children out of school because they cannot afford it, according to a recent assessment by the World Food Program. "All they've got in some villages is bread and tea and that's all they're feeding their children," said Adam Taylor-Awni, a consultant involved in the WFP study. And noting that a majority of Yemenis live in remote rural villages, he added: "There aren't mechanisms in place to get food to people."
Associated Press (AP) International Herald Tribune
Responding to Emergencies
10 January 2009

Ceasefire in shreds as war in Gaza rages on

The Gaza conflict raged on overnight after both sides dismissed a UN call for an immediate ceasefire, and Israel indicated it may move its forces deeper into densely populated urban areas. [...] Relations between the Israeli government and the UN and other international bodies continued to deteriorate with starkly contradictory accounts of two incidents involving the deaths of civilians. Food deliveries to Gaza were suspended on Thursday after the UN and the Red Cross accused the Israelis of firing on a relief convoy. And yesterday, the UN high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, called for an independent investigation into reports that Israeli forces herded Palestinians into a house in Gaza and opened fire on the building the next day, killing 30. Ms Pillay said the killings "appear to have all the elements of war crimes ... It cries out for proper investigation". The Israeli military said their investigation showed both claims were false. The UN's food relief agency, the World Food Programme, said that it was becoming increasingly difficult to find food in Gaza, with many people too frightened to leave their homes, and supplies scarce and dwindling.
The Independent
Responding to Emergencies
10 January 2009

UN agencies to resume humanitarian assistance in Gaza strip

UNRWA announced on Friday that it resumes humanitarian assistance operations, which has been suspended due to the fighting. Because of the ground battles, the humanitarian assistance operation has been extremely difficult. According to WFP, there is a serious shortage of food, leaving at least 80 percent of the local residents in need of urgent food assistance. More than 3300 casualties have been reported. 10 trucks loaded with medical supplies and 11 doctors arrived in Gaza on Friday.
Nikkei-Sokuho News
Responding to Emergencies
10 January 2009

UN to resume Gaza aid delivery

The United Nations has announced that UN staff in Gaza will resume their activities leading to the delivery of more aid as soon as possible. It says it has received credible assurances from the Israelis that its staff and buildings will not be targeted as the offensive against Hamas enters its third week. Both Israel and Hamas have brushed off a UN appeal to halt devastating attacks that have claimed over 800 lives. "Eighty per cent of the population is in need right now, maybe even beyond that," Nancy Ronan, a spokeswoman for the UN's World Food Program, said. The UN halted aid shipments on Thursday after Israeli fire hit one of its convoys, killing a driver.
ABC News (Australia)
Responding to Emergencies
10 January 2009

WFP Director In Rafah, Emissary In Israel

Josette Sheeran, executive director of the UN World Food Program (WFP), visited the town of Rafah, close to the southern extreme of [the Gaza strip], to see the situation on the ground first-hand, and [assess] the needs of the Palestinian civilian population. […] Sheeran said that WFP plans to increase its direct distribution of food, to feed 360,000 people in the enclave who do not have refugee status, [up from] the 250,000 currently in care. The food, she added, is already in storage awaiting the green light.
La Repubblica
Responding to Emergencies
9 January 2009

80% Of Palestinians Dependent On WFP Aid

Fourteen days after Israel launched its offensive on Gaza, 80% of Gaza's population is in dire need of food aid, WFP said on Friday. Although WFP is able to deliver food into Gaza, distributions are severely hampered due to security concerns, WFP spokesperson Nancy Roman said.
Le Figaro
WFP Ambassadors
9 January 2009

Drew Barrymore Says She Still Believes in Love

Despite her relationship track record, Drew Barrymore still believes in love. [...] In the past several years, Barrymore has focused more on giving back to those in need. As an ambassador for the World Food Programme, she has twice traveled to Kenya to witness the poverty and malnutrition. Last year she donated $1 million to the organization and made a short film based on her travels, viewable on her official Web site
People Magazine

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